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John xx. 30, 31.
AND MANY OTHER SIGNS TRULY DID JESUS IN PRESENCE OF HIS DISCIPLES, WHICH ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK; BUT THESE ARE WRITTEN, THAT YE MIGHT BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD; AND THAT BELIEVING YE MIGht have LIFE THROUGH HIS NAME."
THE signs here spoken of, are shewn by the context to be those which our Lord performed after he was risen from the dead; and we have the assurance of the Evangelist, that although he did not specify them all, yet those he has recorded furnish ample evidence of his being the Son of God. We shall proceed to inquire First, into the proofs of his Resurrection, many signs truly did Jesus in presence of his disciples."
Secondly, into the evidence of Jesus being the Son of God, which his Resurrection furnishes, "written, that ye might believe that he is the Christ, the Son of God."
And advert thirdly, to the result of believing
that truth which the Resurrection establishes, "that believing ye might have life through his name."
First-The proofs of our Lord's Resurrection rested on many signs which he did-some of these were actual miracles, such as he had frequently performed-while others were only common and ordinary actions, which tended to prove that he was a human being, and not a spirit-their master and not another personthus he eat and drank with them-and thus also, he shewed them his hands and his side. These signs were many, they occurred so often, that every one of the disciples had an opportunity of satisfying himself by personal observation, that the Lord was risen indeed; and it was impossible for them to be deceived. or mistaken, when these opportunities were of such frequent recurrence. These signs were done truly; they were of such a nature as to fall under the cognizance of their senses, and from that very circumstance, they precluded the possibility of deception. They were done also in presence of his disciples, in presence of those who had known him before his death, who knew that he had been put to death, and who could therefore confidently assert, that he had been raised from the dead. For Jesus to have done these or other signs
before the multitude, would have added nothing to the proofs of his Resurrection; for no one could have been convinced of this fact from his own knowledge, who had not previously been so intimately acquainted with his person, as to be satisfied at once that he was the same individual-and there must also have been added to this, a personal knowledge of his having been put to death: wherever this knowledge was wanting, the belief of his Resurrection must ultimately have resolved itself into a belief of the testimony of competent and credible witnesses; and, therefore, our Lord did signs only in presence of those who were known to be competent, and proved to be credible, and they all believed in his Resurrection. All this is fully stated by St. Peter, in his first address to the Gentiles, "Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead." Acts. x. 40, 41. All the miracles that Jesus did were not written; it is not, however, on the evidence of these which might have been, and no doubt, were preserved in tradition, but on that of those which were written, that we are to ground our faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God.
In the next place, we are led to advert to the evidence which the Resurrection furnishes, to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. That Messiah should rise from the dead was announced in the Old Testament-St. Paul, in presence of Agrippa, defended his preaching the Resurrection of Jesus, on the ground that the Prophets and Moses did say, "that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first to rise from the dead ;" and in conformity to this exposition, we are to look to the Prophets for predictions, and to the law of Moses for types exhibiting the Resurrection of Messiah, as one of the evidences of his mission.
The predictions of Messiah's Resurrection are to be found in the Psalms where David speaks in his typical character, "thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption ;" and the exaltation of Messiah, which resulted from his Resurrection, is in the second Psalm thus expressed, "thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." The typical predictions of this event, shew that it was to take place after three days, "there shall no sign, said our Lord, be given to this generation, but the sign of the Prophet Jonas; for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days in the
heart of the earth." The waved sheaf in the feast of First Fruits was likewise a type of the day on which the Resurrection was to take place," On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it." (Levit. xxiii. 11.) And on the morrow after the Sabbath did Jesus rise from the dead, as the first fruits of them that slept. Our Lord, at the commencement of his ministry, gave as a sign of his mission, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (he spake of the temple of his body); when, therefore, he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this unto them, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said." (John ii. 21, 22.)
His frequent repetitions of the same prediction, with reference to the event foretold, as proof that he was the Messiah, had so impressed it on the minds of his enemies, that they were induced to take precautions by guarding the sepulchre until after the third day. If then, inasmuch as Jesus rose from the dead, his claim to be the Messiah is undisputed—and if he was the Messiah, he was the Son of God: Nathanael, on being convinced that he was the Messiah, addressed him as the Son of God,
Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel." Peter's confession admitted the same thing, "thou art Christ the Son of